4th LD: China issues red alert for Typhoon Lekima

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BEIJING, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- China's National Meteorological Center issued a top-level red alert for Typhoon Lekima on Friday morning, as it is expected to make landfall in the coastal areas of eastern Zhejiang Province Saturday.

At 8 a.m., the center of Typhoon Lekima, the ninth typhoon of the year, was about 290 km southeast of the city of Wenling in Zhejiang, with a maximum wind force of 209 km/h.

The typhoon will move northwest at a speed of about 13 km/h, with gradually weakening force, the center said, adding that it will land in the coastal areas in Zhejiang Province Saturday morning.

At noon on Friday, Zhejiang raised its emergency response to the top level. The province has shut down multiple entries of local highways and suspended sections of its railway lines. Wenzhou Airport in the province has canceled 92 flights.

The province has suspended ferry rides on Beiji island, a tourist attraction off the east coast, and evacuated over 200 tourists there.

From Friday to Saturday, Lekima is expected to bring heavy rain to the provinces of Anhui, Fujian, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and the municipality of Shanghai.

At 9:00 a.m., east China's Jiangsu Province raised its emergency response to level III, according to the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

Due to the rain, Jiangsu has suspended over 130 trains departing from the provincial capital Nanjing in the following days.

A total of 60 trains including 25 high-speed railways will be suspended or rescheduled from Friday to Sunday, according to China Railway Zhengzhou Group and China Railway Wuhan Group in central China.

Shandong Airlines will cancel a total of 107 flights up until Saturday and five non-direct flights have be rescheduled to direct ones.

Eleven high-speed railways will be closed on Saturday, said an official with the Hefei branch of China Railway Shanghai Group. Enditem

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